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Welcome to Budhanilkantha!

We will be your virtual guide and tell you stories of this amazing place. 

Walking from the left side of the temple, you will come across a Shiva-Linga. Shiva is one of the three prime deities in hinduism. As per the Hindu Folktale, Lord Shiva’s throat turned blue after drinking Poison during Samundra Manthan. Interestingly, Shiva is said to have formed Gosaikunda Lake to quench thirst after drinking that poison, the water from the same lake flows to this temple of Budhanilkantha, which you will see as the tour progresses. 

Then we cross the Saraswati idol. She is the Goddess of knowledge in Hindu Mythology. After  this you will see a platform where bhajans and pujas are performed. People conduct saptaha, different traditions and also marry on this platform. 

Now we move to the pagoda style temple of Ganesh, the elephant headed god. An interesting tale is that he was given boon to be worshipped first among God and Goddesses. So, It is culturally right if you worship him first before entering the main temple. 

Now that you have visited Ganesh temple, let’s move on to the main attraction and the heart of Budhanilkantha; The Idol of sleeping Vishnu. 

The majestic floating sculpture is the prime deity of this temple and lies in the very center. The name Budhanilkantha comes from two words- “Budha” which means elder and “nilkantha” which means blue throat. Therefore, Lord Vishnu of Budhanilkantha is believed to be the eldest Narayan. He is also known as Jalakshayan Narayan and Harihar, the unison form of Shiva and Vishnu. People also say that worshiping in Budhanilkantha is equivalent to visiting Kashi in India. 

There are many folktales and stories about the origin of this Idol. The most famous one is that a long time ago this place used to be a cultivable land where farmers grew crops. One day a farmer was ploughing his field and he struck something inside the Earth. As soon as he hit the object, it started to bleed. When he dug it out, it happened to be this idol of Lord Vishnu.

Today it lies in a 3 feet deep pond. The top right hand of the idol holds a round wheel and scabbard whereas the lower hand holds a round mass like Padma. The top left hand holds a club and the lower left hand holds a conch. The head turned east, legs south and the body laid on eleven intertwined bed of snakes; this Snake is Sesh Nag, the King of Snakes in Hindu Mythology.

For the priest to worship the idol, they have to step on Sesh Nag, which is a sin. To avoid the sin, the worshipping rituals are performed by Bhramins of less than 16 years because young brahmins are excluded from the sin that comes with stepping on the Sesh Nag. 

The best time to visit the temple is during the Aarati. ‘Aarati’ in Budhanilkantha is conducted everyday- 7: 30 in the morning and 5: 30 in the evening. The crown on the Budhanilkantha idol is removed every evening and installed every morning by the priest. Even Though the place is a bit more crowded than usual, the experience you get is worth it.

After worshiping Budhanilkantha, let’s move on to the beautiful building on the left side. The building is known as the Mahanta building where the head priest lives. On the other side of the Mahanta building, beside the north gate lies Laxmi temple. Laxmi is known as the goddess of wealth and she is known to bring wealth and prosperity in the household. Right next to Laxmi temple is RadhaKrishna temple. Krishna is considered as the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Radha and Krishna are collectively known for their love towards each other. Therefore, Radhakrishna are worshipped to celebrate love and devotion.

This Temple area is a peaceful space amidst the busy city. So, some people come here to sit and clear their mind. You can try it too!

For more information about the temple visit our website: www.thesaarang.com

The idol of Budhanilkantha is quite interesting. Snakes instead of ornaments surround the hands of the idol. The sculpture lies in a 3 feet deep pond. The head turned east, legs south and the body laid on eleven intertwined snakes. The top right hand of the idol holds a round wheel and scabbard whereas the lower hand holds a round mass like Padma. The top left hand holds a club and the lower left hand holds a conch. The three crowns above the forehead have been carved with images of Buddha and Bhairav. It is covered with cloth (Pitamber) by keeping black smooth pebbles (Shaligram) in the part of the head. There also lies a ring of fish in the ears and garland of Rudraksha around the neck. The sign of Shreevatsa of Lord Shiva is seen in the statue, therefore, also known as Harihar.

Best season to visit:

Haribodhini Ekadashi, which falls on the 11th day of Kartika, is celebrated with great joy in Budhanilkantha. The day is celebrated as the awakening of Lord Vishnu from his long sleep. It is a popular belief that one can dwell in heaven if they worship the God with milk, fruits, and Bel leaves on the days of that day and on the days of Maghe Sankranti and other Sankranties.

Things to Do:

When you are here, share a spiritual experience at ISKON or meditate in Kapan Gumba. The Shivapuri Forest provides excellent routes for hikes and treks. You can submerge yourself in the refreshing water of Baghdwar or trying a food hunt at local restaurants.

Entry Fee: None


Welcome to Budhanilkantha !

We would like to introduce you to our Budhanilkantha Municipality where we believe in “Service with a Smile”. Budhanilkantha municipality got its current administrative system and structure on December 2 of 2014 after merging former VDCs Hattigauda, Khadka Bhadrakali, Chapali Bhadrakali, Mahankal, Bishnu, Chunikhel, and Kapan. Situated 3,732 m above sea level, it is spread over 35 sq km. Our municipality is considered a VVIP area for settlement backed up by a literacy rate of nearly 100%. We have a population of over 1,53,303 according to the census of 2075 B.S. with 32,039 households.

After visiting Budhanilkantha temple, you can explore one of the hiking trails below:

  1. Budhanilkantha temple – Nagi Gumba (2340 m- maximum altitude of the hike) and Tarebhir – Sundarijal 

Total hours: 6- 7 hours (approx.)

  1. Budhanilkantha temple – Nagi Gumba- Kopan Monastery

Total time: approx. 3-4 hours

  1. Kopan Monastery – Sundarijal

Total time: approx. 3- 4 hours

  1. Pani Muhan – Bishnu Dwar Circuit 

Total time: Approx. 5-6 hours

There are many hike destinations within Shivapuri National Park. So, you may choose to explore and make your own iterenery.

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